A THIRD of company car drivers will not report minor damage to their employer according to a survey by Venson Automotive Solutions.
The figure has almost doubled since 2015 when the same question was asked although overall drivers do appear to be very slightly more involved today than they were 3 years ago in keeping their car in good running condition.
Nearly 60% of company car drivers said they would make an effort to top up water coolants, compared with 54% in 2015, with 24% saying they are likely to ignore dashboard warning lights, down from 28% in 2015.
One constant in this year’s survey results, compared to those of 2015, is that more than half of employees (57% in 2018, 58% in 2015) mistakenly believe their employer is responsible for servicing their company car.
Failure to keep on top of simple maintenance checks or rectify accident damage could result in a significant repair bill at the end of a lease, not to mention an employee driving a vehicle which is potentially not fit-for-purpose and poses a risk to their safety.
Simon Staton, Client Management Director of Venson Automotive Solutions said, “It is worrying to see the high proportion of company car drivers who do not think car maintenance is their responsibility.
“Not only is this putting them at risk of the car breaking down, or causing a serious incident, it also creates potentially high repair costs for their employer.
“Implementing a few simple changes could significantly reduce wear and tear costs to the business. For example, regular maintenance checks by employees or the business can help identify issues early and avoid things getting worse and causing further damage.
“In relation to end of contract damages, it is important for fleet operators to ensure they fully understand the contract they have with their fleet provider, so that they can avoid unnecessary costs at the end of the vehicle’s contract term.”
Top tips o reduce wear and tear charges:
- To avoid hidden charges ensure you understand your provider’s end of contract damage process.
- Consider implementing a fleet policy that recharges fees back to drivers if damage isn’t reported or routine inspections are not carried out.
- Implement a policy of drivers carrying out regular vehicle checks to help spot issues early – daily/weekly/monthly, depending upon vehicle use.
- Regularly communicate and educate drivers on what needs reporting to the fleet team.
- Use driver training and an ongoing education program to ensure drivers are driving safely which in turn will reduce accident damage.
- Make sure you have a pre-collection inspection prior to the end of the vehicle’s contract to allow any issues to be addressed or claimed through insurance.